Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Theatre Aficionado's End of Season Final Exam - Spring 2008

I'm borrowing this idea from Peter Filichia's annual Broadway University Final Exam column, in which he presents a series of quotes or clues and looks for the title of song and the musical it's from. However, being the bastard I am, my exam is thought response essay only, inspired by many of your end-of-season round-ups and award punditry posts...

1. In looking at the Best Leading Actress in a Play and Best Leading Actress in a Musical categories, each has a definitive front-runner poised to win at the Tony Awards on Sunday. .Compare and contrast Violet Weston and Rose Hovick.

2. In a recent column, Filichia made an interesting point regarding the Best Play category. While many commented on the choices made in the Best Musical category, Peter was the only one to criticize the nomination for The 39 Steps as it was adapted from a screenplay that was 73 years. He cited original works such as Mauritius, November and The Farnsworth Invention as plays that "started from scratch." Was The 39 Steps deserving of its nomination?

3. In recent years, there has been much fuss over which shows get to perform on the Tony awards. This year, Young Frankenstein, The Little Mermaid and A Catered Affair will receive time on the broadcast. Should all nominated musicals be eligible for representation on the telecast, even if they aren't up for the "big one"?

4. Does the scenography (scenic, lighting and costume design) of Sunday in the Park With George enhance or detract from the audience experience? Why? How does this production compare scenographically with the 1984 original?

5. Discuss the dramaturgically symbiotic functions of the characters of Violet and Barbara in August: Osage County.

6. The revival of South Pacific has been an enormous critical and financial success for Lincoln Center Theatre. Does the musical (and therefore by extension, its themes) hold up with today's sensibilities? Is the piece a musical comedy or a musical play? Explain.

7. By comparing and contrasting the nominees for Best Musical and Best Musical Revival, how would you describe the state of the American musical?

8. There have been references to this as "the year of the play." Assess the validity of this statement.

Extra Credit: What performances/plays/musicals et al. do you feel went unrecognized by the various awards guilds this season?


Roxie said...

you are a bastard! what the hell is this?! I graduated already, damn it!

SarahB said...

Roxie took the words right out of my mouth.

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I already thought I graduated with honors.

But for the record, yes, it was the year of the play, and if there was one snubbed performance of the year that deserves to be set straight, it was Kevin Kline's in Cyrano de Bergerac.

Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

Haha. I consider them rhetorical questions. I would be incredibly surprised if I actually received answers!!

SarahB said...

The (sob) is right. Kevin Kline was miraculous in Cyrano!